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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The 2012 model year will be the last of the R-Class in America and it really is no surprise considering the German luxury automaker has moved a scant 300 vehicles through the month of March. For now though, the R-Class will continue to be produced out in Alabama through 2015, when it’s expected that Mercedes will replace the model with a sleeker vehicle related to the M-Class.
GALLERY: 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
[Source: Yahoo! Autos]
The group favorite was the 2013 A Class lineup, but that didn’t stop us from having a little fan-time next to the brand’s new-and-improved SL 63 AMG, which is a lot cooler than any A Class could dream of being.
Those new improvements include 30 percent greater fuel efficiency over its predecessor, boosted output and an almost 309-lb lighter curb weight thanks to generously distributed aluminum throughout the body.
For the first time, the SL63 AMG is available with both a 537- and 564-hp rating from the 5.5-liter biturbo V8 making 590- and 664 ft-lbs of torque respectively.
Customers may pick from 19-inch stock aluminum wheels or optional 20-inch upgrades. Inside those wheels, the car gets a newly-developed AMG high-performance compound brake system with six-piston calipers in the front and single-piston floating calipers in the rear.
The car is laden with carbon fiber, on the exterior, interior and even the engine cover.
U.S. pricing has yet to be announced but the car is expected to launch in May.
Watch the Mercedes-Benz SL 63 first look video below.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG Roadster
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG Roadster
Recently news broke that German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz was going to give its E-Class model a refresh for the 2014 model year. Now it appears that the facelift can come as soon as January 2013, and could possibly be a 2013 model year vehicle.
Previously it was rumored that Mercedes would do away with the quad-headlight setup that has become synonymous with the E-Class model, opting to give the new car a dual headlight design. But in addition to those changes, it appears that Mercedes will also be revising the rear side panels, a heavily modified rear end, and an all-new front end to go with the dual headlights. It seems that Mercedes wants to go towards a more elegant design with its E-Class, perhaps trying to separate it from its sportier C-Class brethren.
The facelifted sedan is estimated to go on sale in spring 2013 with the wagon hitting its respective markets in the summer. The AMG and 4Matic variants are expected in the fall, and Mercedes will have three different hybrid versions for the E-Class model.
There is also a long list of technology upgrades coming our way for the revamped E-Class, including Improved Night Assistant, Dynamic Light Assistant, Intelligent Lane Assistant, Intelligent Brake Assistant, Congestion Assistant, Magic Ride Control, Head-up Display, and Car-to-X Communications. We reckon it’ll be rather difficult to get yourself into an accident with all these new assisting technologies.
Mercedes-Benz recently revealed their 2013 SL 63 AMG ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut, and now the German automaker has released a huge collection of photos and a video of the redesigned hardtop convertible.
The new SL 63 AMG will, for the first time, get two choices of power output, both of which come from an AMG 5.5L V8 biturbo powerplant. The standard option offers 537-hp creating 590 lb-ft of torque, while the alternate is an AMG Performance Package which ups performance to 564-hp and 664 lb-ft of torque.
And as mentioned before, the new SL 63 AMG weighs in over 275 lbs lighter than its predecessor, allowing it to accelerate to 62-mph in just 4.2 seconds in the AMG Performance Package-equipped model. Overall, the new version of the high-performance roadster features a new lightweight all-aluminum bodyshell, more power, and 30-percent lower fuel consumption and emissions. It’s a win-win-win for any automotive enthusiast: lighter, faster, and more efficient.
The SL 63 AMG also features a newly-developed AMG high-performance compound brake system with six-piston calipers in the front and single-piston floating calipers in the rear. The vehicle comes stock with 19-inch wheels, but a staggered 19-inch front, 20-inch rear setup is available from the AMG Performance Studio.
The AMG Performance Package also comes with an AMG engine cover in carbon fiber, AMG rear-axle differential lock, AMG carbon fiber lip spoiler, red-painted calipers, and an AMG performance steering wheel in Nappa leather.
The SL 63 AMG will be launched in May of this year, with only the European pricing having been released by the German automaker so far. Base pricing starts at around $210,000 (€157,675) based on today’s conversion rates, while the AMG Performance Package is set at around $19,000 (€14,280). Those prices include a 19-percent VAT, so we expect the US pricing to be slightly more reasonable.
Watch a promotional video of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG below.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG
AMG, the high-performance subsidiary for German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz, is poised to establish itself as a real player in the sports car industry by unveiling 17 new models and variants over the next four years.
Most noticeable of the upcoming models by AMG will be their SLC model which is slated to hit showrooms by 2014 with a roadster variant to come 18 months later. It is believed the SLC is a “baby SLS” but will still be powered by a twin-turbo V8 engine with 550 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque with an estimated price of $150,000 to $200,000.
In addition to the new models, AMG and Mercedes are working together for lightweight aluminum chassis and a new generation of powerplants for their models. The German automaker hopes to reduce the total number of platforms by sharing them across all segments. Their end goal is to have one platform for rear-wheel drive vehicles, one for compact front-wheel drive cars, and one for SUVs.
As for engines, AMG is currently working on a 2.0L, four-cylinder for the A-, CLC-, and GLC-Class models. They are hoping to squeeze out an impressive 340-hp out of the small powerplant. It is also rumored that AMG is working on a more powerful 4.0L V8, and a possible inline-six engine.
There are also rumors of an SLS successor floating around. A car that will pack plenty more carbon fiber than the current SLS AMG and will be powered by a 6.2L V8 with 650-hp. With the aid of plenty more carbon throughout the car and a new lightweight aluminum chassis, this successor could weight almost 600 lbs lighter than the current generation model. Now that would be a supercar.
And we are already well aware that AMG is working on a lightweight and Black Series variant of the SLS AMG. And upcoming is the new SL 63 AMG with a 571-hp V8, while the SL 65 AMG will see a 625-hp V12. Upcoming in the near future are AMG variants of the new S-Class and a V12-powered G-Class.
[Source: GT Spirit]
Inside Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse underground subway station, German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz launched one of the more clever advertising campaigns we’ve seen to date. Dubbed “Key to Viano”, commuters are able to use their own vehicle keys to control the digital advertising displays.
By recognizing car key signals through a radio receiver, a new film clip starts each time a signal is received. To set everything up for the interactive campaign, 12 digital advertising displays were installed and the underground station went through an extensive overhaul that was accomplished in collaboration with WallDecaux Berlin.
Basically, each time someone pushes their remote key near one of the displays, the side door of the digital Viano opens and different kinds of passengers come out, ranging from female body builders to sumo wrestlers to robots. The goal, of course, is to show off just how much room the Viano has inside.
Taking the “interaction” up a notch, if a person triggers the chauffeur clip, they are then escorted by the Mercedes-Benz promotional team on location to a Viano waiting outside the station for an all expenses paid trip to wherever they are heading.
Watch a video of the Key to Viano campaign in action after the break.
The vast majority of us will never get to experience a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series up close and personal, so the German luxury automaker decided to take the liberty of creating an app for fans to enjoy some media on their Apple devices.
The app showcases what makes the C63 AMG Black Series Coupe so exciting with highlights on its styling, racing atmosphere, and performance. You can browse through specs of the Black Series Coupe, download dynamic wallpapers, and even share the iPad experience with your friends on Facebook.
Hit the source after the break on your Apple device to download the app.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a funky, but rugged luxury SUV from the German automaker, and it appears that it’ll be in production until at least the year 2020.
Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler has come to an agreement with Magna Steyr to extend the production of its G-Wagen in Graz, Austria and was able to get more favorable conditions along with a better price from Magna. Daimler went so far as to threaten Magna that the company would move production of the G-Class to Hungary but it appears that Magna conceded to Daimler’s wants and production will continue in Austria.
The G-Class was originally designed to be a rugged off-roader and a light military vehicle for the German Army. The plant in Graz began production of the SUV back in 1979 and is currently the longest produced Mercedes-Benz in Daimler’s history. Last year, 7,200 G-Class vehicles were made, and this year the number is set to 8,500. Mercedes hopes to hit an annual production of 10,000 for their G-Wagen.
This may not be the most exciting news ever, but it’s definitely one of the cooler things to look forward to in the world of automotive safety. Mercedes-Benz has just unveiled their new active seat belt buckle technology that is designed for the rear passengers.
Essentially the buckles are now power-deployed and emerge from the seats when the rear passenger doors are opened. They’re then illuminated to help ease the process of finding the buckle for the seat belt. For those that have kids or ever had to buckle in kids at night, they’ll know how helpful a simple illumination of the buckle will be for them.
Once the passenger is belted in, the buckle will retract in order to reduce the slack around the pelvis and thorax area. The tech also works in conjunction with the PRE-SAFE system, automatically tensioning the belt if an accident is imminent.
The German luxury automaker announced that the new belt buckles will be offered in an upcoming model, but didn’t specify which one. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the next-generation S-Class, which promises to have more technology and more efficiency.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Active Seat Belt Buckle Technology
About two months ago we reported a collection of luxurious and exotic machines that were involved in a bizarre accident in Japan that claimed at least eight Ferraris, three Mercedes-Benzes, a Lamborghini, a Nissan Skyline and a Toyota Prius.
The exotic car crash occurred on the Chugoku Expressway out in the Yamaguchi Prefecture and fortunately only ten people were hospitalized with just minor injuries.
Now a video of the aftermath from that accident has surfaced and it appears that Japan is now home to at least two parking lots full of fine machines just sitting and rotting. This accident is now being dubbed “the world’s most expensive car pileup” with an estimated combined cost of $4-million in damage.
Take a closer look at the Italian carnage after the break.
We don’t even know what the final version of the newly refreshed 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG looks like and people are already talking about how the first one to hit American soil will be auctioned off later this month.
On February 25, the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance Gala in southern Florida will hold their sixth annual auction where one of the main vehicles headlining the event will be the 2013 SL63 AMG which has yet to be released. Among the other exotic cars joining the SL63 AMG on the auction floor will be the only 2012 Audi R8 GT Spyder that’s ever been treated to red livery and a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes SL Class
The Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG is due to hit North American shores by March, and the luxury German automaker has announced that the performance-minded luxury SUV will start at a significant $95,865.
The listed MSRP includes a $875 destination charge and will net you a 5.5L V8 AMG biturbo engine with 518-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The down side? Fuel economy of just 16-mpg.
AMG will also offer a Performance Package that will increase power to 550-hp and torque to 560 lb-ft. The standard ML63 AMG jets to 60-mph in 4.7-seconds, while the Performance Package will knock a tick off to 4.6-seconds.
The Performance Package also comes with an AMG Performance steering wheel, red brake calipers and a carbon fiber engine cover. The top speed of the vehicle is also raised to 174-mph versus the standard 155-mph.
The 5.5L is mated to a seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT Plus automatic transmission with several different modes of driving available to the owner. The ML63 AMG also features an air suspension system that is speed-sensitive, lowering the body at higher speeds to minimize drag while increasing stability.
Unfortunately no pricing was announced for the AMG Performance Package, but it’s a safe bet that it’ll push the ML63 AMG over the six-digit mark. Cha-ching!
GALLERY: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG
Mercedes-Benz has a new collection of technological innovations set to debut at the upcoming 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) starting on January 10th, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. These new innovations encompass Mercedes-Benz’s vision for the future of driving.
Starting off with their mbrace2 system, Mercedes will show off its pioneering communications platform that has now expanded to offer a complete cloud-based system. The system enables a range of features and services related to safety, information, entertainment, personal assistance and vehicle care while offering cloud-based applications, traffic and navigation assistance, speech recognition, Internet browsing and searching, concierge services, automatic crash notifications and more. Mbrace2 will be offered standard on the newly revamped 2013 SL Class and will be standard in many more models this year.
In addition to the in-vehicle mbrace2 system, Mercedes will be demo’ing the mbrace2 smartphone app which allows drivers to communicate and send information to their vehicle prior to entering it. They will also be able to find their vehicle, lock and unlock it, set valet parking protection, receive geo-fence alerts and Send2Benz which connects to other drivers socially in order to find and navigate to one another.
Mercedes will also show off their latest suite of Advanced Driver Assistance System, a comprehensive active safety system that helps prevents accidents before they happen. On hand will also be a new Mercedes-Benz C350 coupe to demonstrate their upcoming DriveStyle iPhone app. The app allows drivers to interact with the vehicle rather than the phone in order to help minimize distractions and ultimately accidents.
To celebrate 125 years of the automobile, Mercedes will also have a F125! Research Vehicle in their booth. Geared towards presenting a visionary outlook on future technical developments in the luxury car market, the research vehicle will show off innovative new ideas and future trends that will find their way into luxury cars. The emission-free vehicle has a range of 621-miles.
Lastly, Mercedes will have their Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience (DICE) simulator on display, allowing visitors to take a seat into the future and wave your hands to take control of the vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz drag cars are pretty rare. But how about a Mercedes-Benz minivan drag car?
Down in Australia, one enthusiast was determined to go big, go bold and be different, and to do so he got his hands on a Vito van and turn it into a complete drag car.
From there, it was gutted and changed into a full tube chassis race car packing plenty of carbon fiber body components and a 632-cubic inch big block Chevy powerplant. Combine that with a full drag setup suspension and wheelie bars, and you know this thing means business.
While most everyone would probably be pointing and laughing at this absurdity making its way to the Christmas tree, the ensuing massive burnout hints that this naturally aspirated (for now) Vito has more than meets the eye.
It’s already done some impressive 9-second passes and it could be entering the 8-second territory once the nitrous gets hooked up.
Check out a video of the Vito tearing up the drag strip below:
Lieb’s five-year run as Mercedes CEO was cut short when he was dismissed for allegedly misusing $100,000 in company funds to upgrade a Mercedes-owned home in New Jersey. Lieb’s lawyer, Stefan Naegele, states that some of the improvements were ordered or approved by Daimler’s facility management. Those that weren’t on the list were called necessities with Naegele stating that the washer and dryer were replaced because they were not repairable and the home gym was refurbished because of water damage.
Naegele will be approaching the case with the premise that Daimler has fired dozens of former executives unfairly as a result of their “zero tolerance” crackdown on ethics violations. The American government had alleged that Daimler made improper payments of at least $56 million from 1998-2008 to at least 22 countries in order to obtain government contracts. In April 2010, Daimler paid out $185 million to settle the charges.
To best showcase the C63 AMG Black Series Coupe Mercedes-Benz has produced two videos with contrasting drivers and vehicles, both filmed on track at Laguna Seca Raceway in Northern California.
Known for its infamous corkscrew, Laguna Seca Raceway can easily be recognized by automotive enthusiasts worldwide. What’s entertaining to watch in the two videos however is how tame the driver in the white C63 Black Series takes it on the vehicle (at least in the beginning of the video) while the driver in the Fire Opal (red) C63 gets it sideways and shows off what it can really do.
So there you have it – whichever way you may want to take the 6.3L V8, 510-hp and 457 lb-ft of torque Coupe out for a spin, you can. Mercedes did it out on the track, showing off the versatility of their C63 AMG Black Series Coupe.
Watch the two videos below:
Despite the majority of auto manufacturers reporting record sales and earnings this year thanks to a healthy Chinese market, the future in China may not be as bright as it was in 2011.
China as a whole is dealing with some tough economic factors with their stock market down, real estate prices dropping and now the prices of luxury cars from German manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are selling for way below MSRP. The average price of a 2012 Mercedes-Benz C200 were sold at 16-percent below MSRP at Chinese dealerships, a continual decline from the 14-percent below in October and 3.4-percent below in July. BMW on the other hand, sold their 320i sedan 11-percent below the suggested price, more than triple the initial discount for the 2011 model.
Despite this, Audi posted a 69-percent increase in China deliveries to 29,861 units while BMW had a 9.8-percent increase in sales in China while Mercedes-Benz increased deliveries by 24-percent. But 2011′s growth in China will most certainly not replicate itself in the future to come, which could prove troublesome to many of the manufacturers that are currently undergoing big capacity expansions.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
Time lapse videos are probably the new cool thing on the Internet, and this one showcasing AMG Performance Studio customizing a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG proves why.
AMG Performance Studio wanted to show off just what they can do our in Affalterbach and at the same time, let their potential customers know how involved their customizations can be when ordering an AMG vehicle. By starting with a stock, glossy red SLS AMG, the Performance Studio meticulously disassembles the car, transforms the exterior of the vehicle to a matte Yosemite Blue finish, outfits it with a new set of wheels and redoes the entire interior to match the new exterior color scheme.
Check out the time lapse video after the break.
Mercedes-Benz‘s all new 2013 SL looks extremely impressive, but up until now we’ve only been treated to a collection of photos and a wall of specifications. Now the German luxury car manufacturer has made our day by releasing a trio of videos showcasing their new SL-Class which is set to have its official unveiling at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.
Now sitting an impressive 300-lbs lighter than its predecessor, the new SL will sport a 4.6L V8 powerplant with 429-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Each video highlights the newly developed technology in the 2013 SL, ensuring that we’re all well aware that it’s sporty and light while packing an all-new aluminum body.
And besides, the new SL Roadster looks absolutely gorgeous in motion. Go treat yourself to the trio of videos showcasing the new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL after the break.
The upcoming 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK will receive a much-needed refresh and facelift, and this time around it’s been caught cold weather testing out in Northern Sweden.
From these spy photos, it’s easy to see that Mercedes will be integrating all new LED headlights and taillights on their refreshed GLK-Class, and with all the camouflage on the bumpers, one can expect some changes including daytime running lights.
We also have a much better look at the interior of the new GLK, which reveals that it’ll be receiving a gear-changing stalk on the steering rack, much like the ML- and GL-Class, rather than in the center console like the current generation. Possible engines for the refreshed GLK include the 1.8L found in the C250 with 201-hp and 229 lb-ft of torque, while the GLK350 is almost a certainty, with a 3.5L V6 packing 302-hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK
The rising Chinese market for luxury SUVs have forced automakers to turn towards manufacturing in those respective countries to avoid raising prices from importing in the vehicles. Mercedes-Benz has just rolled their first Beijing-built GLK off the assembly line, joining their European counterparts Audi and BMW in manufacturing their SUVs in China.
Audi has been producing their Q5 in China almost since its launch, while BMW recently began X1 production there. Mercedes for now will only be producing the GLK300 in China, but plans to complement the 3.0L V6, 245-hp engine with a smaller engine before the end of next year.
Manufacturing Mercedes-Benz models in China is part of the German brand’s long-term plan with hopes of producing two-thirds of all Mercedes sold in China by 2015. Which models will join the GLK, C-Class and long wheelbase E-Class in China’s manufacturing is unknown currently but sales of Mercedes-Benz models have been on the rise in China with 168,940 vehicles sold in 2011 so far. Unfortunately, they’re still third behind BMW and Audi.
[Source: Left Lane News]